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A Loving Church

John 13:34-35

KJV 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. KJV

NAS 34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 " By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." NAS

HCSB 34 "I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." HCSB

Our world talks about love but shows very little knowledge of real love, and what it is all about. A well-known psychiatrist said that the greatest need of mankind is to love and to be loved, yet we live in a generation when it's harder to love than ever before.

I sensed the leading of the Lord to affirm our church in it's expressions of love, and to Preach this sermon as I studied early Tuesday Morning. Wednesday afternoon I opened this weeks article posted on Baptist Press, and the President of the Convention stated:

Seldom does a day go by that I do not receive a call for help from either a church, a pastor or staff member. Recently I received three in one day. And, there seems to be a new way to deal with church conflict. These days, increasing numbers of church members launch websites detailing allegations, accusations and complaints. I ask church members this question: Do you think lost people see this? When newspaper reporters are called and church conflict becomes known in the newspaper, either locally or nationally, what do you think this does when lost people read it? For Christ's sake, for the sake of the lost, stop!

Personal attacks are on the rise. Phone calls, e-mails, and hallway conversations continue to take place with the bottom line being character assassination. For Christ's sake, stop!

Yes, as you can tell, I am sick and tired of all of this. But guess what? What I think or feel matters little, if at all. However, what does matter is what our Lord Jesus thinks. He states his heart in John 17:21, where he prays, "May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me." He also states in Galatians 5:20 that the works of the flesh are "strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions and factions.

What must we do?

1) We must beg God for forgiveness. We have spoken ill of brothers and sisters of Christ in ways that should never occur.

2) We must pledge to avoid personal attacks in the future and not to support an activity or conversation in which this occurs.

3) We must learn to disagree using the biblical mandates in Matthew 18, Ephesians 4:15, etc. Most church problems and convention problems could have been overcome if we would have followed these biblical mandates.

4) We must learn to listen to one another. This applies to all of us. It is time for leaders, trustees, pastors and people in the pew to listen to the concerns of others, even those with whom we have serious disagreement.

5) We must learn to talk to each other, not just about each other.

For Christ's sake, stop! Dr Frank Page

One Of The Reasons I am preaching this message Is to brag about the loving attitude of this church. I am desiring to affirm this fellowship and you as individuals. At the End Of this message I am going to ask you to go to someone you can freely tell, "I love you and appreciate you very much. Do not go to family but go to someone you may not have said the words, "I Love You," To.   I will tell you when I want you to do this, and, DO NOT COME TO ME! You can go to my wife but not me. GO TO A FELLOW CHURCH MEMBER!

As I Said I will tell you when to do this.

1. The Newness Of A Loving Church. 13:34a
34 "A new commandment I give to you,
. . . "

Why is it a new commandment? Love is not new! The Old Testament taught us to love. The new part is that Jesus said to love as He loves. Never before had this world known love like the love
that Jesus Christ gives. That is what makes it radically new.

Not only did Jesus Christ give the commandment, but He demonstrated it.

John 13:3-5 says, "Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded. Jesus, the great Teacher, was the great example-giver, in showing us how to love.

Jesus said, A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you. If He, your Lord and Master, has washed your feet, then you ought to wash one another's feet. That person, who has done you wrong, needs you to wash his feet.

The Words New, and Love: are unique in this context.

A. We Are To Love In The Best Example Of . . Family.
        1. Honest With One Another.
        2. Helpful To One Another.

  B. We Are To Love In The Best Example Of.. Fellowship.
1. The Bible's Word Is KOINONIA.
2. Spiritually koinonia refers to those who share a common experience of the gospel.           
             a.    We are One Body

Illustration Take Time to Love
An ethics professor at Princeton Seminary asked for volunteers for an extra assignment. Fifteen students showed up. He divided the group of fifteen into three groups of five each. He instructed the first group of five to proceed immediately across the campus to a certain spot; if they did not get there in fifteen minutes their grade would be affected. A minute or two later he instructed the second group to also proceed across the campus to the same spot; but they were given forty-five minutes to get there. After they left he instructed the last group to go across the campus to that spot too; but they were given three hours for the trip.

Now, unknown to any of these students, the teacher had arranged with three students from the Drama Department to meet them along the way, acting as people in great need: the first one they met covered his head with his hands and moaned out loud as though in great pain; the second, a little bit further along the way, was on some steps lying face down as if unconscious; the third, on the very steps of the destination, acted out an epileptic seizure. You know what the ethics professor discovered? Not one of the first group stopped, two of the second group stopped, and all five of the third group stopped.

You know what this tells me? When we are too busy, with tight schedules and impossible deadlines, there is no time for love. I am willing to bet that the Good Samaritan was not in a hurry. What we all need to do is to slow down, to take life a bit easier, so that we have time for love and care and compassion.


    We are commanded to love one another

2. The Narrowness Of This Loving Church. 13:34b
        ". . .
that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that
you also love one another. NAS
A. The Narrowness Of A . . Selfless Love. 13:34b
Jesus loves with a selfless love. He knew His heavenly origin and heavenly destination. He knew His authority and power, yet the Lord of glory chose to do slave labor. The Bible says, He laid aside His garment. That's a picture of the Lord Jesus coming from heaven and laying aside His glory. You see, the devil became the devil, by saying, I will ascend; but Jesus is our Lord because He said, I will descend. He laid aside His rights, but He never set aside His deity. That's true humility, and that's true love.

B. The Narrowness Of A . . Steadfast Love.
Jesus also loves with a steadfast love. It says in John 13:1 says, He loved them to the end. He never stops loving. Jesus washed His disciples feet on the way to the cross. 
Love that cannot stand up under pressure and under testing is not real. You want to know who your real friends are? Make a mistake.

A couple married for many years were in the hospital as the husband was having by pass surgery.  He complimented her by saying when I had a broken arm you were there by my side in the hospital, and when I broke my leg  Honeyyou were there by my side in the hospital.  When had had to have a stent put in there you were right by my side.  Now here I am going to have by-pass surgery and you are here by my side in the hospital.  Then he ghot real quite, and then said you know you have not brought me anything but trouble.  That is not steadfast love on his part.

These disciples were bundles of mistakes misunderstandings, failures, and disappointments. But, He kept on loving them. I remind you that Judas, the one who would betray Him, was among those whose feet Jesus washed. Jesus washed Simon Peter's feet too, knowing that he would betray and deny Him. He also washed the feet of Thomas, the doubter. He washed all of their feet.

 C. The Narrowness Of A . . Serving Love. 13:34b
Likewise, Jesus loves with a serving love. The Bible says in 1 John 3:18: My little
children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. Jesus did not practice what He preached; He preached what He practiced.

 D. The Narrowness Of A . . Sanctifying Love. 13:34b
Finally, Jesus loves with a sanctifying love. Jesus told Peter he didn't need to be washed all over, just his feet. Jesus was not talking about physical dirt but of spiritual defilement. He said
to Peter, You're saved. You've already had a bath, but you walk in a dirty world and need your spiritual feet washed. What a wonderful Teacher was the Lord Jesus!

Jesus was saying, My love is a sanctifying love. I am willing to forgive you. Peter didn't understand this, but Jesus said, You will later, Peter. And when Peter cursed, swore, and denied Christ; do you know what Jesus did for him spiritually? He washed his feet; forgave, restored, renewed, and refreshed him. That's the kind of love that Jesus has. Jesus wants to wash your feet. He wants to forgive you, restore you, and refresh you. He loves you that much. And, if you have received the love of Christ, then you should love as He loves. Find somebody that needs that love and give it to them.

Illustration Dottie Rambo wrote:

He left the splendor of heaven, Knowing His destiny,

Was the lonely hill of Golgotha, There to lay down His life for me.


If that isn't love; The ocean is dry, There's no stars in the sky,

And the sparrows can't fly.

If that isn't love; Then heaven's a myth,

There's no feeling like this,

If that isn't love!


Jesus Demonstrated Love To Us.

3. The Nature Of A . . Loving Church. 13:35
35 " By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

A. This Nature Produces An . . Association. 13:35a
" By this all men will know that you are My disciples,"

 B. This Nature Produces An . . Anticipate. 13:35b
". . . if you have love for one another."

Illustration     From my Son-in-law John Batton Thanks for sharing and the challenge.
About 10-11 months ago two young adults started visiting our Sunday School Class. I had just finished teaching "Experiencing God in your Church".
A study that really challenged the class to live in love with one another. We can't have fellowship with God and not be loving our siblings in Christ.

The two where dating and their relationship was quite serious. However, Christ got a hold of their hearts and started to change them. During that time they became pregnant. The couple was very scared about what the class would do. They have come to love the fellowship and didn't want to lose it. One night during a Bible study with the class they confessed their sin and their condition before the class. The Holy Spirit moved greatly and the class as a hole embraced them and Prayed for them.

Since that time the class has keep them feed, help with the twins and bought them a van, just to name a few things.

God's church is alive and well in Florida too. All I did through this is pray and teach the word. God's Spirit moved through their hearts to lead them to action. Not one idea came from my head or lips. It is all God!

Please exult your church! The bond is real, all the way to Florida.

John 15:13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." So in 1 John 3:16 it is said that "we ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren."